Efficient Person Search: An Anchor-Free Approach

1 Sep 2021  ·  Yichao Yan, Jinpeng Li, Jie Qin, Shengcai Liao, Xiaokang Yang ·

Person search aims to simultaneously localize and identify a query person from realistic, uncropped images. To achieve this goal, state-of-the-art models typically add a re-id branch upon two-stage detectors like Faster R-CNN. Owing to the ROI-Align operation, this pipeline yields promising accuracy as re-id features are explicitly aligned with the corresponding object regions, but in the meantime, it introduces high computational overhead due to dense object anchors. In this work, we present an anchor-free approach to efficiently tackling this challenging task, by introducing the following dedicated designs. First, we select an anchor-free detector (i.e., FCOS) as the prototype of our framework. Due to the lack of dense object anchors, it exhibits significantly higher efficiency compared with existing person search models. Second, when directly accommodating this anchor-free detector for person search, there exist several major challenges in learning robust re-id features, which we summarize as the misalignment issues in different levels (i.e., scale, region, and task). To address these issues, we propose an aligned feature aggregation module to generate more discriminative and robust feature embeddings. Accordingly, we name our model as Feature-Aligned Person Search Network (AlignPS). Third, by investigating the advantages of both anchor-based and anchor-free models, we further augment AlignPS with an ROI-Align head, which significantly improves the robustness of re-id features while still keeping our model highly efficient. Extensive experiments conducted on two challenging benchmarks (i.e., CUHK-SYSU and PRW) demonstrate that our framework achieves state-of-the-art or competitive performance, while displaying higher efficiency. All the source codes, data, and trained models are available at: https://github.com/daodaofr/alignps.

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Results from the Paper

Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Person Search CUHK-SYSU ROI-AlignPS MAP 95.4 # 6
Top-1 96.0 # 5
Person Search PRW ROI-AlignPS mAP 51.6 # 4
Top-1 84.4 # 8